Trailer talk: The personal stories of Parkinson’s

Trailer talk: The personal stories of Parkinson’s

With the help of an Airstream trailer traveling the country, people with Parkinson’s disease will have an opportunity to record and share their experiences and personal stories as part of a program called “Yours, Truly.”

Non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s, as a whole, can be more troublesome than motor symptoms, in terms of quality of life. The stigma around the symptoms may also create challenges. As a recent survey shows, caregivers to those living with Parkinson’s disease psychosis are hesitant to discuss Parkinson’s non-motor symptoms involving psychosis with physicians “out of concern for their loved ones,” said Leilani Pearl, senior vice president of communications at Parkinson’s Foundation. “Having a place to hear and share the unique experiences of others living with Parkinson’s will increase awareness of symptoms and may help others get the care they need.”

The storytelling campaign via travel-trailer is in collaboration with StoryCorps, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” Sponsored by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., “Yours, Truly” invites people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners to record interviews about their lives and preserve their story in StoryCorps’ national archive.

To share or view stories, access educational resources in English or Spanish, or to find out where you can visit the StoryCorps airstream, visit Already, several Parkinson’s families have shared their stories and added their voices to StoryCorps’ national archive.

“Parkinson’s disease affects about 1 million people in the United States. Around half of the people living with it may develop hallucinations or delusions over the course of their disease, but the majority don’t proactively tell their physicians about these symptoms. That’s why I believe it’s so important to share experiences across languages and cultures,” said Dr. Gus Alva, assistant professor at University of California-Riverside Medical School’s Department of Neuroscience.

Signs and symptoms can vary, with people experiencing motor symptoms (such as slowness of movement, resting tremors, limb stiffness, and trouble with balance) and non-motor symptoms (constipation, impaired bladder control, anxiety and depression, loss of mental sharpness/acuity, hallucinations and delusions). When people experience hallucinations or delusions related to their condition, it’s known as Parkinson’s disease psychosis.

A hallucination is a perception-like experience that occurs without an external stimulus and is seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled. A delusion is a false, fixed belief despite evidence to the contrary.


Source: StatePoint Media

To raise awareness of the disease, people with Parkinson’s and their care partners are recording interviews about their lives.